In decades of hiking and backpacking in the Sierra and Colorado Rockies, I have seen only six species of large mammals: black bear, coyote, moose, big horn sheep, elk and deer.

If I had been hiking a century ago in the Sierra and Colorado Rockies, what other large mammals would I have been likely to see? Even then, the grizzly would have been rare in those two areas.

I have never seen a cougar, although I have been in areas where hikers were alerted to cougars.

closed as unclear what you're asking by user5330, Roflo, Benedikt Bauer, Aravona, user2766 Dec 7 '15 at 8:56

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  • Mountain Goats should make your list & depending on where exactly you are, Pronghorn Antelope. – renesis Dec 3 '15 at 23:34
  • Grizzly Bear, wolverine, wolf, weasel, ferret, lynx, pika, muskrat, beaver, pack rat, bats, porcupine, caribou. Then there are the rare sightings like spirit bears, which I've seen, they're pretty cool. – ShemSeger Dec 4 '15 at 6:00
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    I feel like a question which essentially boils down to "what animals have you happened to see in these seemingly randomly selected regions" is not a good fit for the Stack Exchange format. If you're interested in learning about what wildlife is typical in certain areas, there are wildlife guidebooks for any of the places mentioned above, which will be far more comprehensive than any list we could hope to cobble together from random anecdotes. – nhinkle Dec 5 '15 at 5:44
  • Vote to close. The edit significantly changes the question, and makes answers to original question vague or incorrect. OP should have asked a new question. – user5330 Dec 6 '15 at 20:48
  • @mattnz oh, gosh. Do whatever makes you happy. I tried deleting the original Q and was told by the Computer Nanny not to do that, because there was an answer, and I would be depriving the world and posterity of the invaluable information in the Answer. Note that the one Answer to the original Q was mostly about cougars, and, not coincidentally, is relevant to the edited Q also. But, I repeat, do whatever with this Q that makes you happy – ab2 ReinstateMonicaNow Dec 6 '15 at 21:28

I've spent many years hiking and camping in the Rocky Mountains and California, and animals I have seen more than once or regularly include black bears, deer, elk, moose, wild turkey, beaver, mountain goats and longhorn sheep.

I've never seen mountain lions, although they are plentiful, but they keep themselves hidden. My aunt's husband says he wanted to photograph one once, so he hiked up into the mountains of Colorado and camped out at a place where he knew he had the best chance. He camped out there for a few days. On the third day, he was sitting outside reading a book when he saw a movement. He looked up, saw a cougar looking at him, he reached over for his camera and had just enough time to take a photo of its hind legs as it ran away.

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